Monday, April 14, 2014

More Of Your Dave Clark Five Comments

I didn't read today's edition of fh yet but dave clark was on ron and fez today, pushing the dc5 documentary that is airing tonite ... sounds great ... just giving you a head's up so you watch.  
I found it about 60% satisfying ... just so good to see and hear this music again, even if this special is very Dave Clark-centric.  (There were FIVE members of that band, you know!!!)  Plus it's nice to see Dave doing the press circuit again.  (I almost have to wonder if he waited until the majority of the rest of the band was gone to do this, just so that nobody else could offer up a contrary opinion to his version of the story and their success!  lol)  kk  

Kent ...
I thought it was interesting how The Dave Clark Five first heard American Rock and Roll.  They started out performing at US Military Bases in England.  During the breaks, the jukebox was played. Dave asked for
copies of songs that he liked (such as "Do You Love Me", "Over And Over" and "You Got What It Takes."
Kent, do we know why the DC5 were on the Ed Sullivan Show so many times? I think it was 18 times. Elvis and The Beatles were on three times, I think.
Is it true that Gerry Marsden of Gerry & The Pacemakers really has a Pacemaker today?
Frank B.  
The Dave Clark Five were clearly favorites of Ed Sullivan ... thus so many repeat visits.  (As noted exclusively here in Forgotten Hits, it was actually only TWELVE appearances on Ed's program ... their other appearances were either reruns of previous airings or a series of compilation clips.  Even so, that still only brings their total to SIXTEEN, not eighteen as repeatedly reported during this PBS Dave Clark Five television special ... and several other online publications.   We ran the OFFICIAL list of shows back on March 7th ... you can reference it here:  
Elvis and The Beatles used The Sullivan Show to mutual advantage ... both artists catapulted their careers into the stratosphere after appearing on Ed's program ... and Sullivan garnered the highest ratings of his show's history, thanks to these two artists.  Meanwhile, Elvis and The Beatles went off to have their mega-careers, constantly booked with tours, movies and other commitments.  Both artists always kept a warm spot in their hearts for Mr. Sullivan, however, as he was the one who really helped push them over the top.
Gerry Mardsen made world-wide headlines in 2003 after undergoing triple bypass surgery ... but has continued to tour and perform despite this (and other) serious health problems.  So yes, it is quite possible that in addition to being a Pacemaker, Gerry now HAS a pacemaker.  (kk)

Hey Kent,
I wasn't going to say anything about the PBS Dave Clark Five special, but after two cups of coffee this morning, I decided to throw in my hat. An old grade-school friend and musician alerted me to the PBS special over the weekend. Unfortunately, the local station decided to air a baseball game in its time slot, then played the special at midnight. I wasn't willing to stay up until two, and my DVR can't record off of the TV. The special was then replayed the next night at 3 am! I never saw it, but I'm not worried about it now, as I've read your review (and others) on FH. I must say I'm not surprised how it turned out.
As a twelve year old, I was totally swept away by the British Invasion, just like all the other kids on the block. In a music fan magazine, it said that The Dave Clark Five was the number-one group in England, followed by The Bachelors, and THEN, The Beatles, so I had to check those guys out! I remember the first time the DC5 was on the Ed Sullivan Show, and I wasn't impressed. Being a student of the drums, I thought Dave Clark was mediocre at best. I knew Ringo and Charlie Watts could play rings around him. I also thought he was in love with himself, as he was seated behind his kit, down center-stage, while Mike Smith, the real star of the band, was off to the side. When I saw the group's movie, "Havin' a Wild Weekend", I was very disappointed and bored because it wasn't about the band at all. It was about Dave Clark and his love interest. At least "A Hard Day's Night" spent time with all the members of The Beatles. Even Freddie and the Dreamers' "Seaside Swingers" featured all of the band members. The only thing I liked about Clark was his red sparkle Rogers drums, as they looked different from all the others out there. My favorite member of the group was Lenny Davidson, because he had those West-Coast, American surfer looks, but I knew Mike Smith was truly the "man in the band". Paul Shaffer has stated that Smith is his hero, and that his musical interests started with the times he saw Mike doing his thing with the DC5. Shaffer even got Smith to sit in with the band on the Letterman show, and what a great night it was! Do you know if Mike had ever released a solo album? I tried to find something on the music websites, and there is an artist out there, named Michael Smith, who released a couple CDs, but I'm not sure if it's him.
- John LaPuzza
Mike Smith did one solo album that I'm aware of called "It's Only Rock And Roll" ... a rarity and long out of print.  On it, he covers any number of 50's tunes in his unmistakable rock and roll voice ... "The Girl Can't Help It", "Bonie Moronie", "No  Particular Place To Go", "High School Confidential", "Something Else" (which, I believe was released as a single without success), "Reelin' And Rockin'" (a song he also sang with The Dave Clark Five), "Blue Monday" and others. (I found two used copies on ... and it'll only set you back $150!!! lol)
For the FH Reader who asked about Dave Clark's follow-up band, Dave Clark And Friends (I'm sorry, I can't find your email or I'd address you by name!!!), yes, Mike Smith WAS a part of that project, too.  They recorded one LP together in 1972 but it went nowhere.  Also extremely rare, I found a copy as part of a DC5 two-fer here:  Click here: Buying Choices: Play Good Old Rock & Roll / Dave Clark & Friends
Although I remember seeing "Having A Wild Weekend", I can't recall a single thing about it ... which means it left absolutely NO impression on me whatsoever.  Kinda sad in light of everything else from that British Invasion era having such a huge impact.  I'd be curious to see it again (along with "Time") just to see if either has ANY redeeming value!  (kk)  

Whew! I think you fans are a little too kind on the DC5 special. I love this group, and that’s why I was very disappointed. First off, Dave Clark shouldn’t have done this himself. It should have been done by a real biographer. Geezus! I’m Dave Clark, I’m brilliant, I’m Smart, I was a pretty boy -- Love Me! See my elitist friends who will tell you how great I am / was! So Love Me! It was basically a fluff piece by himself with these mostly irrelevant Talking Head tributes. Whoopi Goldberg? Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne? Ian McKellan? Elton John? Oh yeah, they were so big on my DC5 memories. Yikes, what BS! You have a DC5 special where Whoopi Goldberg gets more interview time than Mike Smith, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley & Denny Payton combined, and you think this is good?? I’m Dave Clark and I was great and Oh Yeah, there was a guy named Mike in my band who sang some of my songs and Oh Yeah, the three other guys!
A few moments with Mike Smith ... and not one minute of interviews of Lenny, Rick and Denny? Holy crap! Why weren’t these guys on the screen? Lenny for sure is still around. I didn’t want to see these overviewed celebrities talk about nothing relevant! (I was OK with Springsteen, Kiss, etc. because they were influenced). Bios on all five guys maybe? History of the band maybe? Early recordings, and how they came about maybe? How did you guys write some of these great songs? What specifically influenced your song writing. How did you develop the Wall Of Sound on those 45’s? How did you make your albums? How come there was more material in the US than in UK? Who were Lenny and Rick’s guitar heroes? What sax players influenced Denny? What records were your faves? What groups did you play with? Who were some of your favorite groups to play with? Anybody think of interviewing somebody from the Ed Sullivan Show? Maybe the group talking about some memories of Sullivan shows? What memories of Ready Steady Go did the DC5 have? Etc, Etc, Etc.  Where were all their peers from the time? Hollies, Searchers, Animals, Hermits, Pacemakers? Nowhere to be found. Only Pauly Mac, who half the time seemed like he was talking about something else. What did anybody learn about any of the DC5 except for Dave Clark? Nothing!
The clips were great, but as people have mentioned, too many repeats. They should played some more of their excellent flips and some of the great LP cuts that people might find interesting if they would have used some. Also, by the time part two kicks in, it’s like I drove off a cliff. All this cool DC5 music and then we get bogged down by the insipid dreck of “Time”. Yuck! Going from a high and crashing down hard! But, I’m Dave Clark and these people will tell you how great “Time” was ... even though nobody cared then and still don’t. I will go no further on that subject.  So, anybody looking for a two hour special on the Dave Clark Five were disappointed. If you enjoyed it, that wasn’t what you were looking for. By the way, I’m Dave Clark, I’m Great and I’m a Genius and these people will tell you that because I’m making the film about me.
Ken Freck
I agree with virtually everything you've said ... Clark was the WRONG guy to make a film about The Dave Clark Five ... but odds are that film wasn't going to get made any other way.  As mentioned in my review, Dave Clark is a control freak ... and he OWNS the rights to all of this material ... so no how, no way was this going to get made without his complete support ... and control.
Knowing this about him, I was just happy to finally see some of this incredible footage again ... in better quality than all the bootleg tapes I've had for decades now.  I'm hoping the DVD release (with two additional hours of bonus footage) will concentrate more on the music and the other members of the band ... but, as we have learned by the official screening outing, who know exactly WHAT to expect!!!  (It's kind of like when ABC ran their four-hour Beatles Anthology Special ... the box set came out with TEN hours of material that allowed the viewer SO many more opportunities to fill in the blanks.  Hopefully, Clark has done the same ... but like I said, with him, who knows!!!
He held all this material hostage for decades ... there was a time (much like the Cameo / Parkway material) where you didn't even hear his stuff on the radio ... because it simply wasn't available.  What a shame.  As noted, The Dave Clark Five could have won over hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of brand new fans had this self-proclaimed genius simply made this material available and accessible to a whole new audience who, I believe, would have fallen in love with it all over again.  What a shame.
As for "Time", I also agree ... it totally tanked at the time ... and found no audience here.  What I find remarkable about it now is how many big names were attached to this project ... and yet it still failed.
Clark is on a cross-country press junket tour right now, promoting this film and DVD release.  At least he's talking about the band again ... and I'm sure many of these questions will come up.  (I'm sure we'll also find a good deal of them to be "off limits".)  Then again, with the bulk of the radio community these days not having even been born back when The Dave Clark Five helped to rule the world, who knows!  I'm just glad to see them back in the spotlight again ... even if that means we had to make our OWN "deal with the devil" in order to do so.  (kk)  

I caught and recorded the PBS Dave Clark Five special last night and therefore can now fully understand the comments posted by other viewers in Forgotten Hits.  While I've very much liked the DC5 since their debut and was as outraged as anyone else when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame initially denied them admission, there is a reason why the DC5's importance eventually became minimized and/or overlooked by fans, radio programmers and some music historians.    That reason was Dave Clark himself  -- who, for reasons I cannot fathom, kept the DC5 material out of print, out of sight, out of mind and largely off the air for close to two decades -- until the 1993 release of the excellent but sadly only briefly available 2 CD set "The History of The Dave Clark Five."  Used copies now sell on for about 75 bucks.   What's the deal, Dave?  Why are you keeping all material by one of the finest, more euphoric and hardest-rocking of all British Invasion bands off the market?   Doing so simply makes no sense at all.
Regarding the TV special, I, too would have liked to learn more about the backgrounds and stories of the other DC5 members, especially lead singer Mike Smith, who co-wrote (with Clark) much of the band's strongest material.    It appears, though, that Dave -- who today looks a bit like Vincent Price with cartoon eyebrows -- wanted the spotlight all to himself, both then and now.  Even in the band's only movie ("Catch Us If You Can" a/k/a "Havin' A Wild Weekend"), the other guys' parts were reduced to little more than stunt extra work.   Guitarist Lenny Davidson  wasn't even granted a single speaking line!   As a DC5 fan, I had high hopes for the film but was quite disappointed when it finally turrned up in the wee hours of the morning a few years ago on TCM.  Obviously an inept attempt to imitate the  "Hard Day's Night" cinema syle, it's a pretty bad movie all around -- quite unengaging and far too often incoherent.  No wonder there was never a sequel.  As for the PBS special, I would have preferred to hear more complete performances of the DC5 hits and less commentary by folks who were truly irrelevant to their story (like say, Whoopi Goldberg).   Far too much time was devoted to two things worth mentioning but only perhaps in a five minute postscript to the DC5 saga: Clark's later purchase of the "Ready Steady Go" film library and his "Time" stage musical.   I may be one of the very few people in the U.S. to actually have a copy of the "Time" double LP, a release which made vitually no impact at all in the U.S.   Completely hitless (except for the very minor UK charting of it's title tune), perhaps the most interesting thing about that two-record set is what is printed on it's spine.  Believe it or not, it reads "Time: The Ablum."
Gary Theroux  

Meanwhile, you can read a Five-Star Review about this special here:
>>>I, too, was a MAJOR Dave Clark Five fan at the time ... and still am.  I can't remember a record I wanted more than their first Greatest Hits album in late '65 ... I begged my parents for WEEKS about getting me that for Christmas ... and I remember telling them even if it's the ONLY present I got, THAT was the one that I really wanted.  When I did, I couldn't plop in on the turn-table fast enough.  And let me tell you, it was all thriller, no filler, from start to finish.  I literally wore the grooves out of that record. 
I agree with this thing you wrote above!  I am not positive if I got the Greatest Hits LP in '65 or not, but I got it and I played it SOOO much that it is likely the one album I got new that is now in the worst shape. I'm not an album freak, but having probably 10,000 of them, that says a lot about the play.  I think the entire album (both sides combined) was about 25 minutes!  They crammed a lot of power into those 25 minutes!  If anyone pulls out their copy and looks at the vinyl, I think I remember it having nearly an inch of empty lead out on each side!  I know my aunt and uncle sent "American Tour" in the mail for Christmas '65 and we played it like crazy!  THEY knew how to hook their nephews for life!  Haha.  Hearing the DC5 on radio was ALWAYS a blast (in more ways than one!).  When WLS premiered "Try Too Hard" in '66, I got mad because they interrupted it with a news bulletin in the middle.  I ran the tape back and started it again at the end of the news bulletin and had to play the song that a WHOLE DAY until I could re-tape it the next night!  Haha.    
LOL - I just did exactly that ... pulled out their first Greatest Hits LP and the ten songs it contains totals about 22 minutes!  Too funny!  But like I said, all thriller and no filler:  OVER AND OVER (their brand new single ... and still climbing the charts the day this was releasaed!), EVERYBODY KNOWS (I STILL LOVE YOU), CAN'T YOU SEE THAT SHE'S MINE, BITS AND PIECES, I LIKE IT LIKE THAT, CATCH US IF YOU CAN, BECAUSE, ANY WAY YOU WANT IT, DO YOU LOVE ME and GLAD ALL OVER ... probably one of the GREATEST Greatest Hits albums EVER released ... and SO timely, too ... all ten tracks had charted in just the past 21 months!  Most artists don't have that many hits in their entire career!  (You're also right about the "lead-out" ... it measures just over one inch on side one of this LP!!!  lol)

A lot of GREAT Dave Clark Five tunes were not featured in the television special ... again, I'm hoping we'll hear a few more of these on the two-hour bonus disk.  One in particular that doesn't fit the mould was the very countrified 1966 hit "Satisfied With You", featured below. 

Here's some photos from the 1967 WLS Personality Magazine of Clark Weber hosting the DC5 in Chicago! Nice outfit, Clark!!  Note in the first picture that Dave is telling Clark that he should have signed a pact to be sure his hair all returned to him in three years like Dave did with his records.  In the other photo, Clark as Dave if this is the way to hold a drum stick.  Dave seems skeptical about Clark's drumming capabilities. Clark seems skeptical about DAVE's drumming capabilities!
I think you ran this before, but check out the 1965 Art Roberts Top 5 10 PM countdowns for one week in fall, 1965.
Also, a nice close up shot of Mike Smith was taken by my (then, teen) sister-in-law up close to the stage at a DC5 concert in Lincoln in 65 or 66 maybe??



Besides being another of my fave LPs, here's a cool reliving of a DC5 contest called "Weekend In London". First, the Revlon sweepstakes commercial via WMCA ... B. Mitchell Reed "will be calling lots of girls" -- wouldn't you like that job??

Then the actual amazing STORY behind the contest winner!
A Milwaukee contest for best banner was ran before the 1964 Milwaukee concert.  The winning banner appeared on the front of the "American Tour"  DC5 ALBUM cover (attached)!!  THAT concert followed the day after the McCormick Place show in Chicago.  In Milwaukee, the temp that day was 90+ and the fans ended up rushing the stage and the DC5 ended up playing only 12 minutes!!! Recollections attached. THAT was the mania that the DC5 could convey without hardly playing!
Clark Besch

As I recall there was an incident at the McCormick Place show ... Mike Smith was injured in some way but I can't remember the exact circumstances.  (A bottle thrown at the stage perhaps?  Anybody out there remember?)
Here are some hands-on recollections of that concert in Milwaukee:  
Click here:
I also recall The Dave Clark Five being tied in with Revlon ... must have been a sponsor of their US Tour.  VERY cool to think that the winning banner could wind up on the cover of their next LP!  Yep, those were the days!  (kk)    

Here are two cool tunes for you.  First, an unreleased song by the DC5 that I truly love.  Everly Bros type harmonies.  "I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind."  Man, I wish they'd release this one!  Dave has put lots of unreleased "drivel" on itunes, but not this great one!
Also, the theme song to their "Hold On" TV show.  Rockin fuzz and drums from the later years of the DC5!  

When viewing the PBS Glad All Over special, I caught the band being hustled into WKBW studios, Buffalo, NY.  It reminded me that when they landed for these concerts in Canada, a 12 year-old friend of mine was allowed to accompany her high school sister and friends to see them landing in their DC5 plane.  
Totally unheard of at the time, and I know my parents would never have allowed that.  She gave a 'report' the next day in English class ... teacher was out, and we had a young male substitute who wanted to hear it.  Cheers to you, Carol! 
By the way, I know you probably meant to say "shortly BEFORE Mike Smith's death" regarding the tribute / fund-raiser concert.  I believe the tribute concert was 2005?  Mike's death, I believe, was 2008.  I was very involved in fund raising with Peter Noone during this time.  We provided Mike with his custom-made wheelchair and transport van.  Thank you Peter!  That experience is one I will always treasure.  Being able to 'give back' and 'pay it forward' helped me more than I can ever say. 
Shelley J Sweet-Tufano 
Sorry, yes, you are correct.  The home video of that concert, once offered as a pre-order, never materialized, apparently due to copyright and royalties issues.  Too bad, it was a GREAT show.  (I happen to have a bootleg of THAT, too!  lol)  
We helped publicize Peter's efforts during this time ... a VERY generous and noble offer by a good friend ... sadly, Mike passed away shortly after the customized transport fan became available. 
Hope you saw our Sunday Coverage of this sad, sad time.  (kk)